25 September 2018
WORK done by USW's Football Coaching specialists has been recognised with a national Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) from the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
In partnership with the English Football League Trust, the team has created an educational pathway to prepare graduates to work in football coaching and development.
Led by course leader Jay Probert, the success of the Foundation Degree Community Football Coaching and Development has been made possible through extensive collaboration.
Academic staff design and deliver the teaching and learning content, media experts convert it into engaging and interactive resources, mentors at each club provide work-based learning opportunities for the students; and students co-create and run peer-mentoring schemes.
The blended curriculum brings together students, student mentors, academic staff and club mentors in virtual and face-to-face environments that ensure students, drawn from football clubs across the UK, feel fully supported to achieve their best vocationally and academically, while also supporting the development of each collaborative partner.
The production of immersive digital content in a purpose-built recording studio, using a full-size indoor pitch with integrated cameras, is crucial to providing students with relevant, interactive and engaging content.
"The delivery model, combining extensive mentorship with high-quality blended learning delivered by a team of experts in their own subject areas - be it media, football, teaching and learning, or delivery of vocational awards - is the feature that makes the programme so successful," said Mr Probert.
"The flexible approach to learning, enabling students to access HE through local networks, also means that their local communities benefit from the delivery of multi-sport programmes - in 2016/17 students provided in excess of 30,000 voluntary hours."
The community football coaching course has more than 300 students enrolled across 32 professional clubs, with more than 80% of graduates gaining employment as a direct result of the course.
"The reach of the work has gone well beyond football, with the ‘flipped university’ approach now being considered as a model for the delivery of courses in nursing, chiropractic, policing and cyber security," Mr Probert added.
"Furthermore, the video capture component has been adopted across all campus-based sport courses to ensure that students are fully supported for assessment and never miss a lecture."
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